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Answer Man: A lucky reader wins a case of wine

Dear Teller of Truths and Stuff, please clear this up for me — a case of wine is on the line. Is it true that roughly half the people on Social Security are under 25 years of age? Thanks. — Over 65

Parsing this question, I assume it's Mr. Over 65 who's betting this assertion is not true, and if so, he can place his wine order right now. It's not true that half the people receiving benefits are my age or younger.

According to the Monthly Statistical Snapshot of Social Security for December 2013, just more than 63 million people received Social Security benefits, SSI benefits or a combination of the two. About 47 million of them were 65 years of age or older, 14 million were disabled and under age 65, and 7 million received Social Security benefits as early retirees, young survivors or other reasons.

By my calculations, which you can take to the bank, that means about 74 percent of all recipients are 65 or older.

I recommend an amusing and expensive French pinot noir.


Food for thought

In a masterful column item last week, I reported that Southeast Service Cooperative is expanding its available meeting space and changing the name of its building at 210 Woodlake Drive to Wood Lake Event Center. That's true, but according to Dick Riley, that expansion project isn't all that visible — what's more visible is the expansion project at the neighboring Channel One Regional Food Bank building. "The remodeling at SSC is mostly internal with the exception of the four external entryways that have been removed," Dick says. "Just a bit of clarification from a former SSC employee."

The Channel One project will double the food bank's warehouse area, add freezer space, expand space for volunteers to repack donations, and add a community teaching kitchen. The $1.69 million project will add about 22,000 square feet to Channel One's home at 131 35th St. S.E., for a total of about 50,000 square feet. Jennifer Woodford, the executive director, says the abominable winter weather has delayed the project a month and it'll now be done in late spring — which in our area ranges from April to June.

Help! I'm being mi-crow-managed!

I get a lot of advice from readers about the nasty crow problem downtown. Here's a note from Answer Maniac Jeff Morganwith an interesting angle:

"I don't know if there have been any new ideas to reduce the crow problem downtown …"

The answer to that, Jeff, is no...

"… but I saw an interesting infomercial on TV today about the Bliss Light (Outdoor/Indoor) Firefly Light Projector with timer. This is a holograpic laser light product. It may be something to consider if other methods are not satisfactory. I'm not sure such lights would deter the crows, but it might be worthwhile trying a couple."


It can't hurt, Jeff. I'll add the link to this column online and you can check out the Bliss Light.

Here's another light-related crow tip: Jim Judischsays he's done some work with the Kahler Inn & Suites to keep crows away and has declared victory. In an email to the P-B, he says, "We were asked to develop and provide a non-lethal solution that would 'educate' all birds, including crows and pigeons."

The Kahler Inn, at West Center Street and Third Avenue Northwest, is just about at ground zero for crow poop, so it's a good test site for an anti-crow experiment.

Jim says, "Kahler Inn & Suites is now free of crowd 'decorations' and has been for the last two crow seasons. Our silent system works on crows, pigeons and other birds. The system uses classical Skinnerian behavioral conditioning. Because of this behavioral education, also know as aversive conditioning, crows and other birds learn that 'NO BIRD VACANCY' sign is real."

There's a link on the website for Judisch & Judisch Enterprises Inc., which is primarily a commercial lighting business, and I have calls n to learn more about his Skinnerian techniques.

For the record, I've tried to use Skinnerian techniques on my dog but he's way too smart for that.

The Answer Man serves you with all his heart every day in the Post-Bulletin. Send questions to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or answerman@postbulletin.com.

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